April 11th, 2009


iPhone Programming : CS193P

Stanford University is publishing video and assignments for their iPhone programming course online. I've been following it and doing the assignments, and man... I miss compsci classes. I've been having so much fun doing this. For those that recall me in college, I was a lazy underachiever in most of my classes- but not the programming ones. In those, I always took the assignment and exceeded the parameters. I would show other students how to do the assignments. I'd add little flourishes.

This has been such a breath of fresh air. By day, I slog through tedious code written in tedious languages to do tedious tasks. By comparison, programming on the iPhone is downright sexy. It's fun, it's fast.

But more than that, I'm enjoying my remote college experience. My brain is getting a gentle stretching, and I really like that. Of course, it's very gentle- the course material goes at a painfully slow pace and is treading over the basics of OOP with a leaden step. But then I pick up the homework assignments, and run past the requirements and show off, and I don't care how dull the lectures get.

Not to say I get nothing from the lectures. I finally "get" Objective-C memory management. ObjC has an approach that's someplace between Java-style Garbage Collection and C style malloc/free.

In any case, I've got my first non-trivial iPhone application done. The business logic is pretty trivial- do some stuff with polygon shapes- but the UI has drawing and animations, which is well beyond the goals for the current homework assignment. If you have an Intel Mac, you can download the SDK from Apple (free signup required) and run it if you like. The linked code is distributed under a CC-share-alike license: HelloPoly code.

If anyone is dumbshit enough to try and hand this in to the class, they're going to get owned, because it's pretty obviously not what the assignment called for.